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Expansions and attractions as light summer beers make room for fall heavyweights
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Expansions and attractions as light summer beers make room for fall heavyweights

Expansions and attractions as light summer beers make room for fall heavyweights

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The Manahopkin Craft Beer & Music Fest will take place over two sessions — noon to 4 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. — Saturday, Aug. 7, at Manahawkin Lake Park. It is a charity event for the Stafford Twp. PBA. There will be lots of local breweries, food trucks and bands for your entertainment. I will be judging the entered brews for the overall championship at the fest. Join us!. Tickets will be on sale at the door.

Later in the month on Aug. 28, the Summer Swelter Craft Beer Fest will arrive in Pitman from 1 to 5p.m., with a VIP session noon to 5 p.m. Featuring exclusively N.J. breweries, the Summer Swelter gives you the chance to enjoy all that N.J. has to offer. There will be food trucks and vendors on hand, too. Check their Facebook page for tickets and more info.

ExpansionsSome more good news from Slack Tide in Clermont. Their acquisition of property around the corner on Route 9 has finally finalized, and plans are under way to expand the brewery exponentially. They expect to construct a 9,000-square-foot brewery with lots of parking and seating for their avid fans. Looking for an opening late next year, we all have to be patient and hope for a mild winter. Best of luck to a great group of guys! They are also brewing a collaboration beer with Eight & Sand from Woodbury. It will be aptly named Sand & Tide and will be a gose brewed with Rabbit Hill (N.J.) malt and spelt with locally harvested sea salt and a touch of Meyer Lemon.

Next expansion will be Bucket Brigade in Cape May Court House. They have ordered their new 77 barrel system and all its attachments, which should debut in the fall. In the meantime, enjoy their Mango Hefeweizen, Raspberry Hibiscus and Lulo with Lemongrass Sour. Coming up will be some hard seltzers and sours, as well as their Oktoberfest beers. Stop in and check out the cans available for takeout.

Bonesaw in Glassboro is well into an expansion that will not only increase production but will add to parking and more taproom space. They are adding a second floor space named The Lager Loft that will serve as an extra taproom and a rental space for your private party. When you visit next, you will see the huge grain silo they have installed outside the brewery.

Behr Brewing in Cape May is still awaiting permits, but their taproom and brewery look great! Unfortunately, red tape plagues this business sector and slows down the process. Keep an eye on Facebook for the exciting news. Also waiting in the wings is ZappyBrew in Ocean View. They hope to receive their system this month and to get up and running this fall.

Lighter beers going away, heavier beers arrivingAs the summer begins to wind down, we will see a change in the styles of beer that we enjoyed all season. Heading into September it will be time to enjoy some of the lighter beers before many disappear. But one needs to save room for the bolder fall beers.

At Cape May Brewing that means to stock up on some of their summer beers, including Tan Limes, The Grove, The Bog, City to Shore, Crushin’ It, Grapefruit Crushin’ It and Blueberry Lemon Crushin’ It before they are gone. Heading into the fall season, Cape May will brew up a few more treats to enjoy in addition to their usual seasonal fare. Orange Vanilla Crushin’ It is new to the docket this year, brewed with Lotus and Cashmere hops, as well as lactose and vanilla, to recreate a decadent dessert in IPA form. Also new is Double Dry-Hopped Follow the Gull, fan-favorite Follow the Gull dry-hopped with Motueka and a second helping of Citra.

Next appearing will be the Oktoberfest and pumpkin beers. They seem to arrive earlier every year. The celebration of Oktoberfest begins in the middle of September and runs for a month to the middle of October, but, unfortunately, it will not take place in Germany for the second year in a row due to the pandemic.

But that doesn’t keep the beers from flowing elsewhere. Locally and nationally there will be celebrations to mark this occasion, and the Marzen style will be hitting the handles and shelves everywhere. Axe and Arrow in Glassboro already has these beers on their brewing schedule, making seven or eight new beers including pumpkin and several fall lagers.

Cape May’s märzen-style lager, Oktoberfest, makes its annual appearance in August, and this highly popular brew goes fast, so make sure it’s on your radar before cans run out. It will be distributed throughout New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania.

Joining the lager fray will be Beach Haus (Belmar), Climax (Roselle Park), Cricket Hill (Fairfield), Flounder (Hillsborough), Jersey Cyclone (Somerset) and Iron Hill (Voorhees and Maple Shade).

At the same time, the gourd beers should be appearing side by side with the Oktoberfests. This style became very popular a few years ago but has leveled off as the shelves and taps became overpopulated with everyone’s version.

It is one of those styles that you either love or hate. But coming up will be others from Spellbound (Mt. Holly), Glasstown (Millville) Clash of the Pumpkins, River Horse( Ewing) Hipp-O-Lantern, Tuckahoe (EHT) Holly Beach Pumpkin, Beach Haus (Belmar) Pumptoberfest and Flounder (Hillsborough) Ichabod, as well as the favorites from Southern Tier Pumking & Warlock, Shipyard Pumpkinhead and Smashed Pumpkin, Dogfish Head Punkin’ Ale and Elysian’s four styles.

More brew newsGarden State in Galloway has returned all their lost indoor seating and can now accommodate more than 120 people in the taproom and more outdoors. They have brought back the first winner of the South Jersey Homebrew Competition’s Russian Imperial Stout. This excellent version by Eric Schmehl has a ton of flavor that belies its 9.2-percent abv. Coming up soon is English Bitter, Red Ale and Brut IPA. Don’t forget to bring some food with you!

Once again, let’s not forget the great bars and restaurants we have here where you can enjoy great beers and other libations: Tennessee Avenue Beer Hall, Wingcraft, Vagabond, Passion Vines in Somers Point, Goodnight Irene’s and Crest Tavern in Wildwood, Mad Batter, Exit 0 and Lucky Bones in Cape May.

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